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London terror attack: People threw bottles and chairs at attackers, witnesses say

Last Updated Jun 4, 2017 2:10 PM EDT

LONDON -- People who witnessed two deadly terrorist attacks in London on Saturday said some bystanders fought back, throwing glass bottles and hurling chairs at the suspects.

London Metropolitan Police said seven people died and at least 48 others were injured in the incidents on London Bridge and in Borough Market, in addition to the three male suspects who were fatally shot by police.

One witness, identified only as Ben, told the BBC that he and his wife saw a stabbing at Borough Market. "I saw a man in red with quite a large blade -- I don't know the measurement, I guess maybe 10 inches," he said. "He was stabbing a man. He stabbed him about three times fairly calmly."

Before fleeing the scene, Ben said he saw someone throw a table and a glass bottle at the suspect.

Another witness, identified as Gerard, told the BBC that he chased the suspects and threw bottles, glasses and other objects in an effort to stop them.

"They were running in all the pubs and all the bars and they were stabbing everyone," he said. "I was throwing bottles at them, pint glasses, stools, chairs."

As the incident unfolded, police warned residents to run or hide from any potential threats. They advised that this was a better option than negotiating or surrendering to attackers.

Florin Morariu, a Romanian chef who works in the Bread Ahead bakery, told The Associated Press he witnessed someone being stabbed. He said he managed to get near one attacker and "hit him around the head" with a bread basket before fleeing the scene.

Richard Angell, who was in a restaurant, told ITV that he witnessed "a heroic guy" who was bombarding "these terrible cowardly people with stuff."

An official with London's Metropolitan Police said it first received reports that a vehicle had struck pedestrians on London Bridge around 10 p.m GMT. The van then continued to nearby Borough Market, a popular open-air shopping district, where the suspects exited the vehicle and tried to stab a number of people.

Within eight minutes of receiving the initial call of an incident in progress, police confronted the three suspects in Borough Market and shot them, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said.

Witness Gerard Vowls told ITV he saw people striking the attackers, and that he joined in.

"They were trying to force their way into a restaurant. People were throwing bottles at them, pint glasses, whatever they could pick up," he said. "And then I started picking up bottles, I threw a chair at them, a stool, glasses -- anything I could get my hands on."